Mastercard® Gold Card™ Review
Mastercard® Gold Card™
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Features a luxurious 24K-gold plated patented card design.
- Points can be redeemed for cash back or airfare at a 2% redemption rate.
- Enjoy an annual $200 travel credit for things like airfare, baggage fees, upgrades, and more.
- At $995, the annual fee with this card is very steep, and there's no welcome bonus to help offset this cost.
MASTERCARD® GOLD CARD™ ESSENTIALS
Mastercard caused quite a stir in the industry when it unveiled its lineup of luxury credit cards. At the top of the group is the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
This card has several features which make it almost certain to garner double-takes from cashiers and waitstaff and is sure to impress your family, friends and co-workers as well. However, only cardholders with certain spending habits will find Mastercard® Gold Card™ a worthwhile addition to their wallet.
The appearance and composition of the card is rather unique, as Mastercard takes the term "Gold Card" literally. The card features a patented 24K-gold-plated front with a carbon back.
The other striking feature of the card is the $995 annual fee (plus $295 per additional names on the account).
The ongoing APR of 14.99% Variable is competitive, but there is no introductory rate on purchases offered. However, the card does offer 0% introductory APR first the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 45 days after account opening. Then 14.99% Variable.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ has a rather pedestrian rewards program that operates on a points basis— earn one point for every dollar spent on all purchases. However, points can be redeemed for cash back or airfare redemptions at a higher rate of 2%.
- Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- $95 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
WHAT OUR EDITORS LIKE MOST ABOUT THE MASTERCARD® GOLD CARD™
We definitely like the appearance of the Mastercard® Gold Card™. The unique construction, with a 24 ct. gold-plated front, could be a conversation piece and reap benefits in your social and business life. However, the look of a card alone should never be reason enough to apply for a credit card.
With that said, we also like that the Mastercard® Gold Card™ has a competitive 14.99% Variable APR. While an introductory rate on purchases would be nice, this ongoing rate is solid, and the card does offer a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles you have the card.
If you like being treated like a VIP, you will probably love the Mastercard® Gold Card™ 24/7 concierge service which offers around-the-clock service via phone, live chat, and email. The Mastercard® Gold Card™ Luxury Card Concierge can assist you with travel bookings, various personal requests and more. Mastercard® Gold Card™ members can also enjoy invitation-only experiences such a court side sporting event tickets, access to dress rehearsal performances, exclusive golf offers, and more.
One of the most attractive perks of the Mastercard® Gold Card™ is the annual $200 travel credit. This credit can be used for airfare, baggage fees, upgrades, in-flight beverages or lounge access. Cardholders are also eligible for a $100 Global Entry application fee credit. Additional benefits include expedited security clearance on domestic flights and membership in Priority Pass Select, which provides complimentary access to 1,300+ airport lounges regardless of the airline you are flying or class of ticket, travel accident insurance, extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver, and more.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE MASTERCARD® GOLD CARD™
When you consider potential downsides to the Mastercard® Gold Card™, we have to start with the annual fee. With no first year fee waiver and no points bonus at signup, it's estimated you would need to spend just short of $50,000 on the card each year to make the card pay for itself.
The points-based rewards program is straightforward and easy to understand. However, the rewards rate itself is modest. You receive just one point for each dollar spent. They can be redeemed at a rate of 2% airfare or cash back though, which helps to make up for this a bit.
In addition, Mastercard® Gold Card™ lacks the introductory bonus or introductory purchase APR you would expect with a card of this type.
HOW THE MASTERCARD® GOLD CARD™ COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS
Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Both cards have a similar points-based rewards program. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives two points for every dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, and one point for all other expenditures. The big difference here is that Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a juicy bonus of 60,000 points if you spend at least $4,000 over the first three months you have the card. That bonus has a value of $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, however, does not have an equivalent perk to the $200 annual travel credit offered by Mastercard® Gold Card™, and it does not offer a reimbursement for Global Entry if you decide to apply.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card you won't be looking at a near $1,000 annual fee, however, it's also not a luxury card, so you'll be missing out on some generous benefits that certain cardholders might really appreciate from the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs. Mastercard® Black Card™
Another option in the Mastercard luxury card family, Mastercard® Black Card™ has a lower annual fee ($495 per year) but still lacks the type of rewards program that would instill confidence that the card would pay for itself each year.
Neither card has an introductory bonus or an introductory purchase APR. Both also have an ongoing APR of 14.99% Variable.
Mastercard® Black Card™ awards one point for each dollar spent and pays out 1.5% per point if you claim cash back or 2% per point if you are looking to redeem for airline travel. Based on those numbers, you would need to be spending around $33,000 per year on the card for it to pay for itself, which is quite a bit less than the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
While Mastercard® Gold Card™ offers a $200 annual credit for travel expenses, Mastercard® Black Card™ offers a $100 credit. Both cards offer a $100 Global Entry application fee credit.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express
It's not often that you can say a $550 annual fee is a noteworthy savings, but that's the case with The Platinum Card® from American Express when you compare it to the $995 annual fee for the Mastercard® Gold Card™. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
Both cards offer an annual credit of $200 to be used toward airline travel or related expenses, as well as expedited boarding and security processing. The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers up to $200 in Uber credits, up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, and more.
Like Mastercard® Gold Card™, The Platinum Card® from American Express has a modest points-based rewards program. However, The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can earn a substantial 75,000 point welcome offer, which you receive after you spend $5,000 in the first six months you have the card.
Another big difference is that unlike typical credit cards, the The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. Mastercard® Gold Card™ has an APR of 14.99% Variable.
WHO SHOULD GET THE MASTERCARD® GOLD CARD™?
With such a steep annual fee, there are only a limited number of people who can likely afford the Mastercard® Gold Card™. For the card to pay for itself would take a high level of spending each year. So the question you have to ask is if the expense is worth it? If you are looking for a card with lucrative rewards, you're better off looking elsewhere. But if you are looking for a card with a sharp appearance and one which could elevate your social status, Mastercard® Gold Card™ might just do the trick.
To see the rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express please visit the following link: See Rates and Fees